U.S. Customs is working with a number of other U.S. government agencies in efforts to increase the enforcement of the trade laws, rules and regulations that govern products imported into the USA. Enforcement activities are on the rise and Customs and the other agencies are relying on more sophisticated technology to identify and target shipments that may be in violation of U.S. laws.
The coordination agency for these investigations operates under the name “National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center but the reach of this enforcement agency is well beyond just intellectual property rights. Here is a link to their “Trade Crimes” division – https://www.iprcenter.gov/trade-crimes.
Its important to note that violations are not clerical errors or mistakes of fact, they are treated as crimes and subject to both civil and criminal prosecution. We’ve recently seen stiff fines (into the tens of millions of dollars) and even criminal sentences being handed down to violators of trade laws. We can expect this to increase in the coming months.
Every importer big or small needs to understand the trade laws that govern the products they import. Many products have multi-agency regulatory issues and as the importer you are responsible for making certain your imported products comply with all the rules and regulations. The failure to do so is very costly.
Now is the time to review your imports, including areas like HTS classification, value declaration, country of origin, eligibility for free trade agreements and the overall security of your supply chain. Proactive companies will fare much better than those who wait.
- Posted by tradelogic
- On April 14, 2016
- 0 Comments